PI – Optics R&D

Lead Optical Engineer / Principal Investigator

Attractive Midwest location, mid 6 figure compensation / equity package

Engaged Search


Our Midwest client’s mission is to solve the biggest challenges in additive manufacturing. Using transformative cutting-edge technology born out of a leading research university, our client is revolutionizing the manufacturing industry utilizing first principles-based innovations.


We are looking for a Principal Investigator: Optics to work on new products and applications who will perform the critical function of tuning 3D print parameters to achieve precise application properties. Drawing on an optics background, the successful candidate will serve a crucial function in research & development for the company. Our client continues to expand printing capabilities in the industry and targets specific markets based on their revolutionary technology. Our client’s specific technology created a paradigm shift in manufacturing and has created a gateway to scaling manufacturing cells with its disruptive additive technologies. As our client targets new markets, they are looking for a Principal Investigator: Optics with a strong understanding of optical physics, materials, elite analytical skills, and experience in optical system design and modeling.

  • Learn to use our client’s printers and be a subject matter expert on the optical components in the system, how to augment and enhance print parameters based on these components and understand their impact on applications.
  • Lead optical research and development efforts.
  • Build optical models and solve complex research problems.
  • Analyze light reflection and lens construction, demonstrating the impact of these variables on the printer and applications.
  • Augment print parameters to increase application yield and achieve specific part properties.
  • Analyze data sets for validation, improvement, and consistency in both our client’s printers and related printed parts.
  • Communicate product use cases to the company’s Hardware, Software and Materials teams to ensure continued product improvement.
  • Outstanding verbal and written communication skills.
  • Utilize 3D design tools to develop and print the next generation of additively manufactured products.
  • Use your creativity and engineering skills to design custom, high quality parts that showcase our client’s printer’s capabilities.


  • Bachelor’s, Master’s, or preferred PhD in Optics, Optical Engineering, Physics or closely related STEM field
  • At least 3 years of experience post graduate degree in optical engineering.
  • Knowledge of optical resins / materials and associated niche applications.
  • Firm understanding of optical physics and geometrical optics
  • Demonstrated analytical skills in the design and execution of optical models to solve complex problems.
  • Expertise in optical phenomena in lens-based systems.
  • Collaborate with multiple disciplines including electrical, mechanical, software and material engineers.
  • Strong entrepreneurial drive.
  • Interest in revolutionizing technology and disrupting markets.


  • Over 5 years of related optics experiences developing complex optical systems in the additive, medical, defense or technology sectors.
  • Experience in an early stage, tech-focused environment.
  • Experience with 3D printers and design for additive manufacturing.
  • Willingness to take a hands-on approach to problem solving.
  • Experience in CAD programs and Optical Design software Zemax or CodeV.
  • Knowledge of polymer processing of optical components
  • PhD in optics and a Bachelor’s or minor or relevant experience in Polymer Chemistry or Materials Science


Initially you will:

  • Understand our client’s core technologies, technology roadmap, printers, and business strategy focusing on their printers and relative optical products.
  • Socialize with the cross-functional team, understanding each person’s area of expertise and skills spanning the hardware, software, materials, and product applications teams.
  • Understand how to use our client’s printers and the associated optical systems.

Ninety days from start, you will:

  • Own your role as the Principal Investigator Optics, supporting all optical functions of the printer and contributing to the design of applications.
  • Partner with customers to produce niche, precision-based applications.
  • Begin to design optical models to solve complex research problems.

At 180 days, you will:

  • Lead optical research and development efforts with strategic direction from the VP Engineering and Director of Applications.
  • Contribute to our client’s growth through consistently delivering outstanding products and innovations.

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